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Boars Head Prosciutto Question

Thanks for a not so tasty memory: prosciuttini has been a low-end deli staple for years. Avoid. For something less expensive than the full-blown Parma and San Daniele, Citterio, Volpi, and Galloni offer presliced packages in most markets--all much better than Boars Head. The new American artisanal fave, La Quercia, is also sold online in 3oz packages, but for $11, or about $55/lb. At this price, I'd go for quality DOP imported Prosciutto di Parma.

Jul 27, 2014
bob96 in General Topics

Sicilian treats in Florence

I hope the Fiorentini appreciate these gifts.

Jul 24, 2014
bob96 in Italy

Worst Cooking show Buzzwords

For what it's worth, I've only heard it on shows or read about it when cooks talk in general terms about the makeup of dishes--I doubt a line order would ask for a "protein." I'm not sure it's fake or hipster or jargon, but invite others to comment.

Jul 24, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Worst Cooking show Buzzwords

Seems to me that "protein" is a kitchen-tech-shorthand term (where it serves a role) that migrated to the front of the house. Customers/diners are not, however, line cooks or sous-chefs.

Jul 24, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Worst Cooking show Buzzwords

Watching the deadeningly scripted "banter" on any of the FN contest shows, I'm tempted to paraphrase Mary McCarthy's comment on Lillian Hellman: Everything these FN celebs say is fake, including "and" and "the."

Jul 22, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Worst Cooking show Buzzwords

I wish I could count the number of times "passion" pops up. Every contestant has to proclaim it, every judge has to demand it. Interest, love, skill, who cares: as long as the robotic contestant mouths her or his "passion".

Jul 22, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News
4

Swordfish recipes

A classic Sicilian-Southern Italian classic condimento: samoriglio. In a plate, mix good extra virgin olive oil, a little warm water, s/p, some sliced garlic, and chopped fresh parsley and a healthy hit of strong oregano--Greek or Italian on the stalk, if possible. Set aside. Salt and pepper fish, grill to taste. Set in sauce on plate, spooning some on top, for a few minutes. Serve with lemon. Alternatively, you could brush the fish with some of the sauce, using an oregano branch, say. Goes really well with sides of greens (chard with oil and lemon), roasted small potatoes, or a little side stew of fresh string beans (try the flat romano variety), potatoes, tomatoes, and onions with basil. Close with a Sicilian salad of sliced oranges, fennel, and red onion, and black olives dressed with salt, oil, and juice from the sliced oranges.

Jul 20, 2014
bob96 in Home Cooking

What other cheese can replace feta?

A fresh, soft goat cheese with some tang, yes. Also consider myzithra, the Greek cousin to ricotta salata--it's usually fresher, less dry and chalky, and with more fragrance. Much ricotta salata--and I love this cheese--available easily in the US can be dried out and badly handled. Grated on pasta, fine, tho.

Jul 20, 2014
bob96 in Cheese

Giada says Italians like to use breadcrumbs instead of parmesan. Recipe examples?

This is it. Also a welcoming condimento for pasta with cauliflower, broccoli, or broccoli rabe. Wish I had access to salt-packed alici, though. I always drain the can's oil and replace with fresh extra virgin, too.

Jul 18, 2014
bob96 in General Topics

Giada says Italians like to use breadcrumbs instead of parmesan. Recipe examples?

Thanks, Maureen, for echoing my post above. Agree completely. My own Calabrese-in-America tradition included a big box of homemade dried crumbs, ready for coatings and for sprinkling (as "muddica") on lots of pasta, including our Christmas eve anchovy-garlic-oil-pepe rosso-linguine.

Jul 17, 2014
bob96 in General Topics

Giada says Italians like to use breadcrumbs instead of parmesan. Recipe examples?

A classic topping in the south and Sicily--toasted breadcumbs topping pasta with vegetables, or just oil and garlic or even anchovies or some other non-tomato-cheese sauce. Sometimes, but not always, a substitute for grated cheese, and then usually pecorino, not parmigiano. If you're making, say, pasta with broccoli or broccoli rabe, or anchovies and garlic, then some coarse crumbs quickly tossed in oil and topped at the end offer a nice contrast. But, no, it's not universal, and in Italy, it's really hard to talk about "Italians" as a whole eating group. BTW, the term "ca' muddica" or "con mollica" in Sicily and Calabria designates a pasta finished with crumbs.

Jul 16, 2014
bob96 in General Topics
1

Looking for an older cookbook.

Contact the smart folks at Kitchen Arts and Letters Bookstore in NYC.http://kitchenartsandletters.com/book...

Jul 15, 2014
bob96 in Home Cooking

Carolina Beach

Maybe not for anniversary dinner, but fun and celebratory in its own way, Shuckin' Shack right in CB. Small, noisy, friendly, unpretentious, good beers, very good platters of fresh oysters, clams, boil n peel shrimp, fried stuff, too. Mixed age crowds keep it interesting.

Jul 14, 2014
bob96 in Southeast

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Thanks--did not know this. 

Jul 08, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

Book Recommendation

One more that that I'd be nuts not to recommend: Chris Bakken's journeys to Greece, a work of deep feeling, fresh surprise, and hard won appreciation.http://www.amazon.com/Honey-Olives-Oc...

Jul 08, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Rojas-Lombardi's Ballroom was in Chelsea, W 27 or 26 off 7th near the Fashion Institute of Technology. Wonderful tapas and wines (the only time I've spent $16 for a glass of fino, and this was the earlyish 1980s). The restaurant, which also had a cabaret featuring folks like Patti Lupone, was a real breakthrough. Rojas Lombardi did in 1991, age 46. There may well hjave been a different place with the sane name in SOHO.

Jul 08, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

The scene in Serpico where Pacino and his girl friend break up (or rather she cans him) is shot in the BRH.

Jul 08, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

Book Recommendation

All great choices. I'd add
Madeline Kamman, When French Women Cook
Elizabeth Romer, A Tuscan Year
Patience Gray, Honey from a Weed (the classic Mediterranean food memoir)
Vincent Schiavelli, Bruculinu, America (a classic Italian American food memoir, from Brooklyn)

Jul 07, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Worked around the corner, and remember both the Swedish and Swiss places. The UES in the high 50s had a few Scandinavian spots. The Citicorp Bldg also had the first US branch of Conrans, with high style/budget priced household items and design.

Jul 07, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

May 2014 in Rome -trip report

You can find super fresh veg at the Union Sq Greenmarket--maybe not asparagus, but you got with the territory. And a pleasant trip to the Bronx will l;and you at Borgatti's family pasta shop on E 187 St near Arthur Avenue. No sell by dates here, only perfection. So it can be done, alas.

Jul 05, 2014
bob96 in Italy

Leave the gun, take the cannoli...

Jul 05, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News
1

Wanted: Light Red Wine

Traditionally, Fleurie, Chiroubles, and Brouilly would be "lighter" crus than Morgon or, say, Moulin-a-Vent.

Jul 05, 2014
bob96 in Wine

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Or those Milton Glaser Underground Gourmet guides. BTW, If you do find a copy of it, Kate Simon's New York: Places and Pleasures (many editions, up to 1970) is a brilliant personal tour through the city, hidden behind a travelers guide. Her takes on neighborhoods, customs, sites, styles, shops, restaurants, and people are unique portraits by a NYer (try her classic memoir Bronx Primitive) and a meticulous observer. You can read the book as a great piece of travel writing.

Jul 05, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan
3

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Erica, unfortunately there's no solid, up to date general history of Italian America: Maria Laurino has one coming out this fall from Norton to accompany an ambitious, multi-episode PBS series on Italian Americans. Vincenza Scarpaci a few years ago updated her pioneering visual history, The Journey of the Italian Americans, and here might be a place to start. The golden age of community ethnic histories was at least a generation ago; younger scholars don't get rewarded for writing them anymore. Thus: there's hardly one remotely comprehensive modern history of Italian New York. Many articles and studies, though--let me know if you'd like some places to start. As for Calabria: fine eating in in restaurants, though when we go we usually depend on the hospitality of my cousins or an agriturismo. That said, you'd do worse than to follow the lead of Rosetta Costaninto, author of My Calabria, who leadsa food tours of the region. Not this year, though, but here's a link to her website listign last year's itinerary. She incloudes a stop at Colavolpe, and highyl recommends La Tavernetta in Camigliatello Silano. Altomonte, Morano Calabro, Belmonte, all wonderful places, Farther south in Palmi, along the Reggio coast near Scilla, De Gustibus is a smart trattoria serving very local specialities that are different enough from those you'd find up the coast in Cosenza.Happy trails! http://cookingwithrosetta.com/culinar...

Jul 04, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

Cooking pasta without continual boiling

Uh, no. The point of this thread is to suggest alternate ways of properly cooking pasta. Puffin3's method is correct, and one that I and many millions use with ease and success, even if it there may be other correct ways. I'm still completely unconvinced that a simple boil (you do not need an 8qt pot--who even has one?), reasonably tended to, is no onerous or wrong headed. There are many ways to conserve energy and resources (like never cooking that simple sals di pomodoro for more than 25 minutes, or even less), but this ritual seems to me a needless expenditure of time and attention better spent elsewhere.

Jul 04, 2014
bob96 in Home Cooking

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Thanks much.

Jul 04, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan
1

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Erica, there were always concentrations, mostly temporary-- Sicilians dominated Elizabeth Street (see Donna Gabaccia's classic From Sicily to Elizabeth Street), as was E 11 Street and Ave A-First Ave; there was a small Piemontese "colony" under and near the Queensborough Bridge and First Avenue, and other small settlements long vanished. Some signs remain: the social club on Henry Street named for folks from Pozzallo, Sicily, for example. Also in Brooklyn, the Nolani in Williamsburg, and post 1965 waves of Pugliesi who created concentrations in Carroll Gardens and Bensonhurst and introduced such then relatively rare (hard to imagine now) products like orrecchiette, ricotta forte, burrata, and the fluffy Barese foccaccie topped with cherry tomatoes. In general, though, it was, and is, a Neapolitan-Calabrese-Sicilian space, with some very local clusters: 13th Avenue in the 70s in Brooklyn was, for a while notably Calabrese. There used to be a very old fashioned Sicilian bakery on 17th Ave and 79th St selling semolina bread and rolls and sfincione, but it's gone. Food shops sell across all these regional styles, even if families often stick to their own local dishes at home. They also sell lots of "ordinary" Italian food imports like Mulino Bianco biscotti, which you rarely saw before 1965--my guess is the new migrants brought their tastes for a national, commercial Italian pantry with them. Coluccio, the big shop in Brooklyn, was started by a Calabrese and brought in Calabrese specialties, like those jars of preserved vegetables sott'olio, and now everyone eats them. But you'll have to go to Eataly to get the best Calabrian olive oil. Very interesting, and delicious, all of it.

Jul 04, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan
3

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Erica, yes to the Pink Tea Cup and to the Parthenon, which was similar to and near Molfetta's. Ligurians were a slightly earlier migration (not off a cruise ship, but maybe some were) mto this part of Manhattan than the Sicilian, Neapolitan, and Calabrese. Raffetto's pasta shop on Houston is also one surviving legacy.

Jul 03, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

On a plebeian level: Bleecker St. Luncheonette @ Carmine St, with its classic counter and its amazing minestrone and ravioli al pesto, legacy of the strong Genovese presence in the S Village. Molfetta's Taverna on W46-47(?) off 8th Ave, one of a number of walk in Greek tavernas with everything out on the steam table, kitchen guys shelling beans in the back tables, and tumblers of retsina to wash down the wonderful, oily, traditional food. Bernstein on Essex, blending superb Jewish deli and a full Chinese (Cantonese) menu, all kosher. Zito's bread, and Zampieri Bros panettone, around the corner on Carmine St.

Jul 03, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan
2

Help Getting Past White Zinfandel

For what it's worth, many supermarkets now merchandize sweet, or sweet-ish reds, whites, and roses in the same section, from white zins and moscato to blends that are designed to be jammy-sweet-etc. reds. You can tell from the labels how they're crafted, and for whom. I don't shop[ for these, but the selection appears fairly large, and at many price points and sources.

Jul 02, 2014
bob96 in Wine